Canadians with Chornic Pain Can’t Get Proper Treatments


Once a paralegal, she had to endure pelvic pain, fibromyalgia, and migraines since teenager years.

She has seen many doctors, but none of them could come with a definitive solution, saying there’s not much to be done on her type of pain.

She handled the pain with over-the-counter drugs, but when she reached her mid-30s, she couldn’t face it alone anymore. The pain increased at unmanageable levels due to a new bladder condition. The additional symptoms also exerted an influence on the other symptoms, making them worse.

It was a perfect storm that just kept growing and growing. When one pain increased, the others would too. When the bladder got worse, the headaches and shoulders would, too, and then the fatigue would worsen in a downward spiral.

The heightened pain determined her to give up on her working place. She tried to move on and started a job as a counselor, but that was not the solution to her problems.

The symptoms intensified, leaving her bed-ridden and powerless. So she moved to her father’s house. Lyanne faced a significant episode of depression at that time.

Until now, her story is not too different from the rest of the population. One in three Canadians has to deal at least once in their life with a type of pain, diagnosed or not, that lasts more than three months, as shown by statistics coming from Angus Reid Institute in partnership with PainBC.

For most, there are ways to ease the pain. But in her case, the interactions between her disease required a complex treatment, which could mean even the retraining of her nervous system.

Afterward, she made appointments with new doctors and got in touch with up-to-date therapies and medications, which improved her health state. Her advice for the those who didn’t find the proper treatment yet is to go back to doctors and ‘tell them it still hurts.’

Why Is so Difficult to Access Treatments?

A wide range of treatments are not accessible for millions of Canadians that live with chronic pain, and the replacements are not so useful.

These gloomy statistics are the reality that Canadians face daily:

• 83 percent say pain stop them from doing daily tasks;

• 57 percent say pain adds to anxiety and depression;

• 23 percent say they don’t enjoy living their life;

• 64 percent can’t afford better health care;

Three-quarters state having more than three years of chronic pain history and 29 percent up to ten years.

The effects of opioids are still a delicate matter as the health impact raises concern. Patients avoid or limit their intake out of fear, while doctors are less inclined to prescribe opioids.

Several provinces imply medical coverage for conventional medicines and therapy, while B.C.’s Medical Services Plan also involves coverage for acupuncture, massage therapy and chiropractic treatment, mostly for individuals with low income or eligible for MSP premium assistance.

According to government laws, MPS provide $23 per visit for a maximum of 10 visits annually for the eligible patients.

In conclusion, Canadians agreed that a broader array of pain treatments should be at the expense of the public health care system, involving pain clinics and more types of medication.


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